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Slaughterhouse Royal William Yard

Royal William Yard Plymouth

Constructed between 1825 and 1831, while Victoria was still an uncrowned girl, the Royal William Yard is steeped in history. Designed by the architect Sir John Rennie and named after King William IV, the “sailor king”, this navy victualling yard fed the largest and most powerful fleet the world had ever seen. Brewhouse, Mills Bakery, New Cooperage, Slaughterhouse; each produced the beer, biscuits, barrels and meat that fed the seamen and ensured that Britain continued to rule the waves into the 20th century. Built to last from Cornish granite and Plymouth limestone, Royal William Yard is a perfect example of the grand Georgian style and the unrivalled ambition of the time. While each building is beautiful, when viewed as a whole the Yard’s unity of design is simply stunning. Now, considered to be one of the most important groups of historic military buildings in Britain and the largest collection of Grade I Listed military buildings in Europe, Royal William Yard has returned to life. A Plymouth landmark. The Royal William Yard has been transformed into an exciting mixed-use development, a lovely waterside place to live, work and play. The dramatic view across the Plymouth Sound and the architectural fabric is the same as in the nineteenth century, but inside each building has been carefully restored and redeveloped into stunning homes and flexible commercial space. A thriving place of discovery - an ever-changing seascape, amazing architecture, secret gardens, a central green and new art with a public marina at its heart - there’s nowhere quite like the Yard!

We find a pleasing historical symmetry in that Royal William Yard is also becoming a great place for food. Seco Lounge and Prezzo restaurants are based in the Mills Bakery, while Clive Cobb’s fabulous Royal William Bakery and Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall’s River Cottage have recently opened in Brewhouse. Business is booming, with River Cottage being forced to abandon it’s no booking policy due to popular demand.

“The yard occupies one of the best urban seafront locations in the West Country, and some of the most interesting buildings.� Daily Telegraph

Slaughterhouse Royal William Yard Plymouth

Built in 1831, Slaughterhouse is a beautiful building of very practical design. Located near the entrance of Royal William, cattle drovers could bring their herds from across Devon straight in the back door. Arranged along the triangular internal courtyard, where the cattle were held, was a steel columned colonnade, offal room, clerk’s office, weighing room and meat store. At it’s busiest almost a hundred bullocks a day were slaughtered here, the meat salted into wooden barrels. In an age before refrigeration and tin cans, the salted beef from Slaughterhouse was a vital part of the Navy’s rations. We like to think that occasionally a few choice cuts skipped the salting process to supplement the local diet of fresh fish, perhaps seasoned by new flavours brought to Plymouth from all over the world. Now Slaughterhouse, completely refurbished by Urban Splash, is looking for a new purpose. It’s still the grand, classical, practical building designed by Rennie at the height of the Pax Britannia, with stunning stone walls, exposed wooden beams and steel columned colonnade, but with the benefit of contemporary refurbishment. Set in the bustling Royal William Yard, Slaughterhouse has an amazing frontage to the water as well as the new boardwalk. Put simply, Slaughterhouse is just waiting to become a bustling waterside restaurant with great neighbours and fantastic footfall. It’s also the only opportunity to have your very own building in Royal William Yard. There’s even a cow or two around the place…

“Naval premises at Royal William Yard have been spectacularly restored by niche developer Urban Splash.� Financial Times

Royal William Yard

“It’s hard to think of a better place for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s second River Cottage Canteen than Plymouth’s Royal William Yard. A Grade I-listed, early19th-century naval victualling depot” The Guardian

“…possibly the south-west’s most stunning development...” What House

Residence One

A waterbus service takes people in Plymouth from the Barbican to Royal William Yard every hour.


Italian food specialist Prezzo has taken a 20-year lease on a 4,700sq ft unit in the Mills Bakery building. This is Devon

Prezzo, Mills Bakery

The Cremyll Ferry service also operates close by Royal William Yard to and from Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall.

Royal William Yard

“Funky conversion specialists Urban Splash, best known for transforming old industrial buildings in Manchester and Liverpool, wants to weave the same magic with Royal William Yard in Plymouth.� Vogue

Moorings in the Marina

“Another waterfront destination to watch…” The Sunday Times

River Cottage, Brewhouse

The latest development by regeneration specialists Urban Splash is an inspiring realisation of the future of this historic building – and maybe the City of Plymouth itself. Business Interiors


Seco Lounge newly opened in Mills Bakery in March and became the Lounges groups’ best performing restaurant in its third week of operating.

Seco Lounge, Mills Bakery

“To us it was a fantastic opportunity in the most stunning of settings, in a city that’s got an engaged & largely under-catered catchment who have money to spend & a will to see The Yard succeed. Our 13th opening & easily the best move we’ve ever made”. Alex Reilley, Managing Director of Seco Lounge

Seco Lounge, Mills Bakery

Mills Bakery, a Grade I listed building, has won the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) South West Award 2011 for Best Buildi ng Conservation scheme.

Royal William Yard is a hive of activity, beginning to show signs of being the envy of the region – not only living up to the hype but perhaps exceeding expectations. Business Interiors

Town Mill Bakery, Brewhouse

“It’s one of the most impressive complexes of historic maritime buildings anywhere in the country – the Royal William Yard in Plymouth’s Georgian Stonehouse area is really something.” Plymouth Herald Town Mill Bakery, Brewhouse

Space within Royal William Yard could be converted into beautiful hotel rooms within the stunning Grade I Listed buildings.

Loft apartment, Brewhouse

“The spectacular show home is quite something to behold with its innovation and boldness of design.� Plymouth Herald Loft apartment, Brewhouse

Royal William Yard is now a thriving waterside community.

- Hundreds of residents living in Brewhouse, Clarence and Mills Bakery - Seco Lounge, River Cottage, Prezzo (restaurants) - Town Mill Bakery (cafĂŠ) - Plymouth University Fine Arts Department - Office occupiers in Mills Bakery including marketing agency Bluestone 360Âş, Interserve Limited, HLM Architects and Taxibank - Naval Visitor Centre - Art Gallery - Royal William Yard is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Infact Darwin set sail from the Yard on the 27th December 1831 to begin his second epic voyage of HMS Beagle around the world! - Beautiful landscaped grounds making Royal William Yard an amazing tourist destination.


Company profile About us

In the beginning there were factories. And they weren’t working anymore. But we thought they were beautiful. We wanted to get them working again. We thought that they’d make good places to live. We thought that we could make them amazing homes, with a bit of imagination and some top notch architecture. Just like other Europeans, we thought people would want to live in our cities, in buildings with a bit of soul. We wanted inspirational spaces, amazing offices, independent retailers. We wanted to make places to work that were part of wider communities. We wanted to create spaces for a new generation to make something good. We wanted to make going to work as enjoyable as going home. We’ve been doing it since 1993, first in Manchester and Liverpool, when a history graduate got together with an architect, an interior designer, a chartered surveyor and two builders. Now we’re doing it across the country. We do things differently. It’s our focus on architecture, quality and genuine regeneration that drives us. We believe that every site is unique and deserves its own approach to maximise success. We only deliver the best of architecture and planning and we believe our track record is second to none. Our business skills have been rewarded with the Property Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the National Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Regional Housebuilder of the Year and Manchester Evening News Business of the Year. And we were awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects prized ‘Client of the Year Award’ in 2002 - the only private sector developer to have received this honour.

In addition to these business and architecture awards, Urban Splash has won a number of Civic Trust and What House Awards for our commitment to regeneration and the public good. We recognise the need to work in partnership to deliver an holistic approach to regeneration and have worked with local authorities, regeneration agencies and local communities to deliver successful schemes. This approach has been recognised by BURA with their Award for Best Practice for Concert Square in Liverpool and more recently with a Civic Trust Award for Partnership which was sponsored by English Partnerships. In the last thirteen years, from a standing start and through the re-investment of profits Urban Splash have created over 3,000 new jobs, 1,000 new homes and a million square feet of commercial space. We’re currently investing £1 billion in regeneration projects across the country including: Castlefield, Manchester; New Islington, the third Millennium Community at east Manchester; Altrincham, Cheshire; Ropewalks, Liverpool City Centre; Royal William Yard, Plymouth; Fort Dunlop, Birmingham; Lakeshore, Bristol; Lister Mills, Bradford and the Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

Track record Awards

Urban Splash have won 309 awards for design, architecture, regeneration and enterprise including: - 44 RIBA awards - 20 Civic awards - 28 Regeneration awards - 23 Business awards - 35 Marketing awards

Call Emily to discuss opportunities at Royal William Yard. 07920 562740

Slaughterhouse, Royal William Yard  

Discover the story of Slaughterhouse, Royal William Yard, Plymouth. Originally built in 1831, Slaughterhouse is a standalone building occu...